FCC gets around to XM-Sirius info request


Back in the days when the National Association of Broadcasters was expending considerable effort trying to block the merger of XM and Sirius, it requested information about the two companies from the FCC under Freedom of Information Act. The FCC has just now gotten around to ruling on the matter.

The vast bulk of the XM and Sirius applications were deemed competitively sensitive and exempt from release.

At the very least, the NAB made headway trying to find out about the deliberate mislocation of terrestrial translators and other acts of technical malfeasance. NAB wanted not only details filed with the FCC, but names and titles of employees involved in the acts.

The FCC determined that some of this information could be released, but with the names redacted – FCC counsel determined that the individuals’ right to privacy outweighed the NAB’s right to their identities.

RBR-TVBR observation: Our government in action. It’s just a brilliant sequence of events. XM and Sirius apply to merge against the terms of their founding. They both admit wrong-doing. The NAB asks for details. The FCC brushes aside the wrong-doing via consent decree and grants the merger that was made illegal at birth. Then, over a year later after the merger is approved, the FCC gets around to dealing with the FOIA request, doling out a crumb or two of information well after it has any practical use for the NAB. The whole thing just takes your breath away.